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Dam Safety Scheme

Guidance for regional authorities and owners of large dams


Index

1.0 ABOUT THIS GUIDE 3


1.1 Life of this guide 3
1.2 Guidance 3
1.3 Information in this guide 3
1.4 Consultation process 3
1.5 What this guide does not cover 4

2.0 About the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008 5


2.1 What regulations were previously in place for dam safety? 5
2.2 Why has the Dam Safety Scheme been introduced? 5
2.3 The purpose of the Dam Safety Scheme 5
2.4 When will the Dam Safety Scheme come into effect? 5

3.0 Overview of the Dam Safety Scheme and requirements 6


3.1 Summary of Dam Safety Scheme requirements 6
3.2 Definition of a large dam 7
3.3 Requirements for owners of large dams 7
3.4 Role and responsibility of a regional authority that
is a building consent authority 8 
3.5 Role and responsibility of a regional authority 8 
3.6 Transfer arrangements for regional authorities 8
3.7 Seeking a determination when a dam owner disagrees with
a regional authority decision 9
3.8 Recognised Engineers 9
3.9 Dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams, and flood-prone dams 9
 .0 Navigating the Dam Safety SCHEME
4 10
4.1 Which dams are affected by the Dam Safety Scheme? 10
4.2 Dam structures 11
4.3 Classifying a large dam affected by the Dam Safety Scheme 13
4.4 Methodology and guidance for classifying a large dam 13
4.5 Submission of the classification certificate and registration of dams 16
4.6 When to review the classification 16
4.7 Dam Safety Assurance Programme 16
4.8 Review of a Dam Safety Assurance Programme 18
4.9 Annual Dam Compliance Certificate 18
4.10 Category A and B Recognised Engineers 19
4.11 Timeline for implementation of the Dam Safety Scheme 20
4.12 Register of large dams 20

5.0 Dangerous Dams, Earthquake-prone Dams,


Flood-prone dams AND DAMS POSING IMMEDIATE DANGER 21
5.1 Overview of dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams,
and flood-prone dams 21 
5.2 Functions of a regional authority regarding dangerous dams 21
5.3 Functions of a regional authority regarding earthquake-prone
dams and flood-prone dams 22
5.4 Dams posing an immediate danger 22

6.0 Appendices 23
Appendix A: Dam Classification Certificate 23
Appendix B: Dam Safety Assurance Programme Form 24
Appendix C: Annual Dam Compliance Certificate 26
Appendix D: Glossary of terms 28
Appendix E: Useful contacts 30
1.0 About this guide

This guide aims to provide information on the A copy of the Act and the Regulations
Dam Safety Scheme (the Scheme), why it has can be downloaded from
been put in place and the requirements for www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-dam-safety
maintaining and monitoring large dams.
1.3 Information in this guide
The guide is aimed at: Section 2 of this guide provides the context
owners of large dams or thinking behind the Act and the associated
r egional authorities (also known Regulations, and how they were developed.
as regional councils).
Section 3 provides a summary of the Scheme, key
The aim of this Scheme is to ensure that: definitions/concepts, and the requirements for large
o
 wners of large dams understand and address dam owners and regional authorities. It also explains
the potential impacts of dam failure on the role and responsibilities of regional authorities,
downstream communities, infrastructure and the transfer arrangements of dam-related
and the environment responsibilities from territorial authorities.
p
 otential impacts are managed by implementing The detailed parts of this guide in sections 4 to 6
an approved and regularly audited Dam Safety address the new regulatory requirements for owners
Assurance Programme of large dams, as well as for regional authorities.
t he Scheme is effectively administered
by regional authorities. Information is also given about the role of
Recognised Engineers and the duties of regional
1.1 Life of this guide authorities around dangerous dams, earthquake-
The content of this guide is based on the Building prone dams, and flood-prone dams; and measures
Act 2004 (the Act) as at July 2008, the Building (Dam to remove immediate danger.
Safety) Regulations 2008, the Building (Infringement
Offences, Fees and Forms) Regulations 2007, 1.4 Consultation process
Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand The framework of the Scheme was originally
Act 2002 and the Chartered Professional Engineers developed by the Department of Internal Affairs.
of New Zealand Rules (No.2) 2002. The statutory part of the Scheme was subject
to public consultation in 2002 as part of the
1.2 Guidance select committee consideration of what
This is a general guide to the Act and the Building became the Building Act 2004.
(Dam Safety) Regulations 2008 (the Regulations)
and is not intended to replace them. While the A more detailed consultation occurred in late
Department of Building and Housing has taken great June 2006, when the Department of Building and
care in preparing this guide, it provides guidance Housing issued the Regulations for the Dam Safety
only and should not be used to establish all the Scheme: Discussion Document. Responses were
requirements of the Act on its own. Readers must received from 58 organisations and individuals
refer to the Act and Regulations as their primary representing dam owners/operators or users,
source documents, and be aware that, for specific regional and territorial authorities, consultants,
situations or problems, it may be necessary professional bodies, non-government agencies,
to seek independent legal advice. government agencies and private individuals.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 3
Stakeholders supported the proposed Regulations, 1.5 What this guide does not cover
with a number of comments made about minor This guide focuses on the regulatory requirements
technical issues and definitions.The Department of the Scheme. The following subjects may
of Building and Housing consulted the Regional
be mentioned but are not discussed in detail:
Authority Working Group (RAWG) to ensure
these issues were incorporated, where f unctions and duties of building consent
appropriate, into the Regulations. authorities around building controls
b
 uilding consent authority accreditation
The RAWG comprises representatives from three
and registration
regional authorities, the Ministry of Agriculture
and Forestry, Federated Farmers, New Zealand regulation of small dams.
Society On Large Dams (NZSOLD), Institution It is not the intention of this guide to cover all topics
of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ),
relating to large dams. The main aim of the guide
a large dam owner and an energy company.
is provide information that will help dam owners
Consultation with the RAWG helped the Department and regional authorities understand the size
to identify operational issues in the transitional and type of dam that is classified as a large
period of the Scheme and to analyse issues raised dam and the regulations that the owners
in submissions on the discussion document. of large dams must comply with.

Meridians Benmore dam

4 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
2.0 About the Building
(Dam Safety) Regulations 2008

2.1 What legal requirements were previously A more structured and formal system of compliance
in place for dam safety? monitoring will help ensure the safety of dams,
The Building Act 1991 introduced the need for taking into account the changing nature of public
regulating the construction of dams and building ownership and commercial arrangements for
work carried out on large dams. The 1991 Act owning, operating and managing dams.
required a building consent, project information
2.3 What is the purpose of the Dam
memorandum (PIM) and a Certificate of Code
Safety Scheme?
Compliance for building work on large dams.
The Scheme will help ensure the safety of large
These requirements continue and are expanded dams and give the community confidence that
under the Building Act 2004 (the Act). All building dams in New Zealand are well built, managed
work on dams is covered by the Act. The Act also and maintained.
includes some safety requirements for existing dams.
The Scheme will apply to dams that meet the
However, until the Act, the risk management of definition of a large dam under the Act. It will
dams was unregulated. The Act aims to provide ensure that large dams with a medium or high
a clear and comprehensive regulatory scheme potential impact classification have a formal system
for ongoing dam safety management once dams of dam monitoring, inspection and maintenance.
are commissioned, particularly for larger dams.
The Scheme may reduce a dam owners risk
2.2 Why has the Dam Safety Scheme in terms of meeting the requirements under
been introduced? the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
The Act introduced new requirements for dam for maintaining a safe working environment.
construction and dam safety management. It also gives dam owners peace of mind,
knowing the Scheme could help to save their
Dam safety has been a concern for a number of family and neighbours, private property and
years. This was brought to a head by the Opuha the wider environment if the dam fails for any
Dam in South Canterbury failing during construction reason. This could include an unexpected flood
in 1997 and various flood events around the country or earthquake. It may also help dam owners
during the late 1990s. to satisfy Resource Management Act 1991
conditions for building a large dam.
A dam failure could result in damage to life,
property, infrastructure and the environment. 2.4 When will the Dam Safety Scheme come
The potential impact of a dam on these things into effect?
can change over time due to downstream
The Regulations became law in July 2008 but will
developments and there are currently no regulatory
not take effect till 1 July 2010, after which owners
systems in place to manage these changes.
of large dams have three months to submit a
Unlike many other countries historically, New Zealand classification of their dam to the regional authority.
has not had a regulatory risk-management system in
The Regulations give practical effect to the Scheme,
place. However, once constructed and commissioned,
which is set out in the Act.
dams need ongoing monitoring, maintenance and
repair in order to maintain their integrity.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 5
3.0 Overview of the Dam Safety
Scheme and requirements

This section summarises the requirements and 3.1 Summary of Dam Safety Scheme requirements
features of the Scheme. For more details and The following flow diagram summarises the regulatory
examples, go to sections 4.0 6.0 of this guide. requirements of the Scheme.

Flow Chart of the Dam Safety Scheme Requirements for Dam Owners

The dam is
no NOT AFFECTED
IS YOUR DAM by the Dam Safety Scheme
A LARGE DAM UNDER
BUILDING ACT 2004?
ASSESS DAM*

yes

Classify the dam according to


the potential impact of the large dam
on persons, property and the environment
SUBMIT your dams cLASSIFICATION

Low Potential Medium Potential High Potential


Impact Category Impact Category Impact Category
Dam Dam Dam

Potential Impact Category Potential Impact Category


verified by a category B or verified by a category A
category A recognised engineer recognised engineer

Submit the dams Submit the dams


classification to your classification to your
regional authority regional authority

Prepare a Dam Safety Assurance Programme


verified by a category A recognised engineer
Assurance Programme
Dam Safety

Submit the Dam Safety Assurance Programme


to your regional authority

Prepare and submit an Annual Dam Compliance


Certificate to the regional authority (verified by
a category A recognised engineer) on each
anniversary of the approval of the Dam
Safety Assurance Programme
Annual Dam
Compliance
Certificate

Review Dam Safety Assurance Programme


every 5 or 10 years
review

ALL DAMS WHICH FALL UNDER THE DAM SAFETY SCHEME WILL BE REQUIRED
TO REVIEW THEIR DAM CLASSIFICATION, every 5 years, and at any time building work that requires
building consent is carried out on the dam that results, or could result, in a change to the potential
impact on people, property and the environment.

* As a rough guide, if a dam is capable of holding 20,000 or more cubic metres (about the size of eight Olympic-sized
swimming pools) and of retaining 3 or more metres depth of water, it will be covered by the Dam Safety Scheme.

6 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
3.2 Definition of a large dam The Act requires the owner of a large dam to:
The definitions of large dam and dam C
 lassify the dam as either a low, medium
can be found in section 7 of the Act and section or high Potential Impact Category (PIC) dam.
4.0 in this guide. If a dam has the capacity to hold More information on this is in the Regulations
a reservoir of 20,000m3 or more (about the size of and section 134 of the Act. The different
eight Olympic-sized swimming pools) and to retain classifications refer to the potential impact
three or more metres depth of water or other fluid, of a failure of the dam on persons, property,
it is classified as a large dam in terms of the Act. and the environment. The owner of a large
This means it has to comply with the Scheme. dam will need a Recognised Engineer to
The definition includes flood control dams but audit and confirm the dams classification in
excludes stopbanks. a certificate. The form of Dam Classification
Certificate that may be used is in Appendix A.
The dam safety provisions of the Act and related
C
 lassify the dam and submit the classification
Regulations do not apply to small dams, ie, dams
of the dam to the appropriate regional authority.
capable of holding less than 20,000m3 of water
For more information on this, refer to section
or less than three metres depth. You can find more
135 of the Act.
information in sections 4.1 and 4.2 of this guide.
Section 6.1 also sets out the powers of a regional F
 or medium and high PIC dams, prepare and
authority to urgently address the immediate danger submit a Dam Safety Assurance Programme
of a dam of any size. to the regional authority. The form of Dam Safety
Assurance Programme that may be used is in
In most instances dam owners should be able Appendix B.
to work out for themselves whether their dam
Provide ongoing evidence of implementing
meets the definition of a large dam under the Act.
surveillance and maintenance procedures in
3.3 Requirements for owners of large dams accordance with the approved Dam Safety
Assurance Programme. This is done by
A more detailed version of this summary
submitting an annual Dam Compliance
is in section 4.0 of this guide.
Certificate. The form of annual Dam Compliance
Many owners of large dams have already Certificate that may be used is in Appendix C.
established voluntary safety management S
 eek advice from a Recognised Engineer to
programmes. These are still relevant. However, certify future, ongoing audits of the Dam
there has previously been no formal, national system Safety Assurance Programme.
for dam monitoring, inspection and maintenance.
For more information on a Dam Safety Assurance
Owners will have to classify any large dam on their Programme, refer to sections 140 to 150A
property within three months of the Regulations of the Act and sections 4.7 to 4.9 of this guide.
taking effect on 1 July 2010. Or, if the dam is
commissioned after 1 July 2010, the dam must
be classified within three months of the dam being
commissioned, the owner of the dam must provide
the classification to a relevant regional council
within the same timeframes, and the classification
must be accompanied by a certificate from
a Recognised Engineer.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 7
3.4 Role and responsibility of a regional a dminister and monitor the Dam Safety Scheme,
authority that is a building consent authority which means that regional authorities must:
Regional authorities must be accredited and establish and maintain a register of large
registered as building consent authorities dams in their region
to carry out building control functions consider and approve (or not approve)
in relation to large dams. dam classifications of large dams
A building consent authority: consider and approve (or not approve) the
issues building consents for large dams (except Dam Safety Assurance Programmes for each
consents subject to a waiver or modification) medium and high PIC dam in their region

inspects building work for which it has granted consider and approve (or not approve) annual
a building consent Dam Compliance Certificates.

issues notices to fix a dopt and implement a policy on dangerous


dams, flood-prone dams and earthquake-prone
issues code compliance certificates
dams. This includes setting up processes and
issues compliance schedules.
procedures that would be triggered for medium
For more detailed information, refer to or high PIC dams should they be determined to
sections 13 and 14 of the Act, and be dangerous, flood-prone or earthquake-prone
www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-bca. take action if necessary, if any dam, large or
small, poses an immediate danger to the safety
3.5 Role and responsibility of a
of persons, property or the environment.
regional authority
For more detailed information, refer to sections
The Act requires regional authorities to:
13 and 14 of the Act.
p
 erform the function of a building consent
authority, as summarised at section 3.6 Transfer arrangements for
3.4 of this guide regional authorities
c arry out a variety of other building control Regional authorities are required to be accredited
functions such as issuing project information and registered as building consent authorities by
memoranda and issuing certificates of 31 March 2009. Most regional authorities have
acceptance (in relation to unconsented transferred, or intend to transfer, responsibility
building work on dams) for their building control functions in relation to

8 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
dams to another accredited and registered regional and Dam Safety Assurance Programmes are signed
authority. However, most regional authorities will off and certified by a Recognised Engineer before
still be responsible for administering and monitoring they are submitted to the regional authority.
the Scheme in their regions.
These requirements are to ensure that a dam
Information on transfer arrangements is in sections is correctly classified and that a Dam Safety
244 to 247 of the Act. Assurance Programme has been prepared and
audited by a qualified professional. Regulations
3.7 Seeking a determination when a dam owner define the competencies of Recognised Engineers
disagrees with a regional authority decision refer to section 4.10 of this guide.
If a dam owner disagrees with a decision the
3.9 Dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams,
regional authority has made about their dam,
and flood-prone dams
they may apply to the Department of Building
and Housing for a determination. The Act requires all regional authorities to develop
dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams, and
A determination is a binding decision made by the flood-prone dams policy. This is discussed further
Department. It provides a way of solving disputes in section 5.0 of this guide.
or questions about a regional authority exercising
its powers in relation to a dam, or the failure to
exercise those powers.

For further information see section 177 of the


Act, or please refer to the Guide to Building Act
Determinations at:

http://www.dbh.govt.nz/pub-determinations-guide
or free phone 0800 242 243 for a hard copy.

3.8 Recognised Engineers


Owners of large dams have obligations under
the Act that require the exercise of professional
knowledge and judgement. The Act requires that
classifications, annual Dam Compliance Certificates

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 9
4.0 Navigating the Dam Safety Scheme

4.1 Which dams are affected by the Scheme? (b) includes


The Scheme only applies to large dams. A large dam (i) a flood control dam; and
is defined by section 7 as being a dam that retains (ii) a natural feature that has been significantly
three or more metres depth, and holds 20,000 or modified to function as a dam; and
more cubic metres volume of water or other fluid. (iii) a canal; but
The types of dam that are included are those caught
(c) does not include a stopbank designed to
by the definition of dam in section 7 of the Act:
control floodwaters.
(a) means an artificial barrier, and its appurtenant The definition of dam includes a variety of
structures, that terms. To assist with interpreting these terms,
(i) is constructed to hold back water or other there is a glossary of terms in Appendix D.
fluid under constant pressure so as to form
a reservoir; and A large dam has roughly the capacity of eight
Olympic-sized swimming pools, or a rugby field
(ii) is used for the storage, control, or diversion
with water 3m deep that is, up to the crossbars
of water or other fluid; and
of the goalposts.

10 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
4.2 Dam structures
There are a variety of structures could be affected by the Scheme, including, but not limited to,
the following examples:

Cut canal

Earth cuts are not dams

Natural ground level

Maximum holding capacity:


3 m depth and 20,000 m3
caused by artificial barrier

Water
A gate barrier is a dam

Cut Canal

Flood control dam Flood control dam

Flood control dam

Potential flood plane

Maximum holding capacity:


3 m depth and 20,000 m3
Natural ground level caused by artificial barrier

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 11
Irrigation dam

Earth batters are dams

Water
Maximum holding capacity:
3 m depth and 20,000 m3
Natural ground level caused by artificial barrier

Tailings dam

Tailings/sediment
Tailings dam

Water

Maximum holding capacity:


3 m depth and 20,000 m3
caused by artificial barrier
Natural ground level

12 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
You can use the following formula to calculate the approximate volume of the reservoir behind a dam.
Otherwise, dam owners may get a suitably qualified professional engineer to check the size.

Using the following formula, calculate the volume in cubic metres (m3)
Volume (m3) = 0.4 x Surface Area x Depth (0.4 is a conversion factor that takes into account the slope of the sides of dams)

length length
length

width
width
width
width x length
Surface Area = Surface Area = width x length Surface Area = 0.8 x width x length
2
Triangular Rectangular Round

Note: volume is based on its maximum reservoir capacity, even if it rarely meets this full capacity.

4.3 Classifying a large dam affected by the Initially, the dam owner may decide which
Dam Safety Scheme classification is appropriate for their large dam,
If a dam meets the definition of a large dam under but that decision must be confirmed by a
the Act, the owner of the dam will be affected by Recognised Engineer. The Recognised Engineer
the Scheme. must audit the dam owners classification against
the classification criteria in the Regulations and,
Under section 134 of the Act, a large dam is
if they agree, they have to give the dam owner
required to be classified. The owner of a large
a certificate confirming the dams PIC.
dam needs to classify their dam and have this
classification certified by a Recognised Engineer 4.4 Methodology and guidance for classifying
(as defined in section 149 of the Act) as either a large dam
having a low, medium or high potential impact.
The Regulations set out the methodology for
The classification of a dam reflects the potential classifying dams (see Regulation 4). The following
impact a dam failure could have on people, tables are used in the Regulations for classifying
property and the environment. a large dam (see Schedule 1 of the Regulations).

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 13
Schedule 1. Dam Classification

Table 1. Determination of Assessed Damage Level

SPECIFIED CATEGORIES

Damage Critical or major infrastructure2


Level Natural Community
Residential houses1
Time to restore environment recovery time
Damage
to operation3

Extensive and widespread Extensive and


More than 50
Catastrophic destruction of and damage to several More than 1 year widespread Many years
houses destroyed
major infrastructure components damage

4 to 49 houses
Extensive destruction of and Heavy damage
destroyed and
Major damage to more than 1 major Up to 12 months and costly Years
a number of
infrastructure component restoration
houses damaged

1 to 3 houses Significant but


Significant damage to at least 1
Moderate destroyed and Up to 3 months recoverable Months
major infrastructure component
some damaged damage

Minor damage to major Short-term


Minimal Minor damage Up to 1 week Days to weeks
infrastructure components damage

Notes.
1. In relation to residential houses, destroyed means rendered inhabitable. (c) large industrial, commercial, or community facilities, the loss
2. Includes: of which would have a significant impact on the community; and
(a) lifelines (power supply, water supply, gas supply, transportations (d) the dam if the service the dam provides is critical to the community
systems, wastewater treatment, telecommunications (network and that service cannot be provided by alternative means.
mains and nodes rather than local connections)); and 3. Estimated time required to repair the damage sufficiently to return
(b) emergency facilities (hospitals, police, fire services); and the critical or major infrastructure to normal operation.

Table 2. Determination of Dam Classification

POPULATION AT RISK (PAR)


Assessed
Damage Level
0 1 to 10 11 to 100 more than 100

Catastrophic High potential impact High High High

Medium/High
Major Medium potential impact High High
(see note 4)

Low/Medium/High Medium/High Medium/High


Moderate Low potential impact
(see notes 3 & 4) (see note 4) (see notes 2 & 4)

Low/Medium/High Low/Medium/High Low/Medium/High


Minimal Low potential impact
(see notes 1, 3 & 4) (see notes 1, 3 & 4) (see notes 1, 3 & 4)

Notes.
1. With a PAR of 5 or more people, it is unlikely that the potential impact will be low.
2. With a PAR of more than 100 people, it is unlikely that the potential impact will be medium.
3. Use a medium classification if it is highly likely that a life will be lost.
4. Use a high classification if it is highly likely that 2 or more lives will be lost.

14 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
The following provides more information about Note: More complex layout or topography may require engineers
experienced in hydraulic modelling to map the inundation level.
the previous tables and how to use them. Once the flood map has been created, it can be used to assist
in classifying the PIC of the large dam.

The tables use a number of technical terms.


d) The damage level is determined by assessing
To assist with interpreting these terms,
whether the damage level in each of the
there is a glossary of terms in Appendix D.
specified categories is catastrophic, major,
Table 1: Determination of Assessed moderate or minimal, and then selecting
Damage Level the highest damage level.

The damage level needs to be assessed Example: An assessment determines that in the
by considering the impact on: event that a particular dam failed, it would result in:
residential houses t hree houses becoming uninhabitable
c ritical and major infrastructure (both damage with the likely loss of two or more lives
caused and estimated time to restore to minor damage to a state highway
normal operation) f looding of a protected ecosystem resulting in
natural environment destruction of the habitat of endangered species
community recovery time. e
 xtensive damage to the natural environment
and costly restoration
a) The dam owner must determine and/or
estimate the damage that would be caused It would take several months for the community
by an uncontrolled release of the reservoir to recover.
when full due to a dam breach that is, In this example, the damage to residential
if the dam fails, what would likely occur? houses is moderate, damage to critical and
b) The dam owner may do the assessment major infrastructure is minimal, and time for the
themselves and use a Recognised Engineer community to recover and damage to the natural
to verify the classification, or the dam owner environment is major. The damage to the natural
may use a Recognised Engineer to handle the environment is the highest out of all of the columns,
whole classification process. The Recognised so the assessed damage level is major.
Engineer must be either a Category A
or Category B Recognised Engineer, Table 2: Determination of Dam Classification
as discussed in 4.10 of this guide. Dams must be classified as high, medium or low
c) In some situations an estimate of flood areas PIC. Using Table 2, the classification depends on
may be carried out using the downstream the population at risk (PAR) and on the assessed
topography ie, valley shape and slope as it damage level (as determined in Table 1).
may be obvious whether the flow is going to The assessor determines:
impact on houses, infrastructure, or the natural
(1) how many people would likely be affected by
environment, or find its way to a larger water
inundation greater than 0.5 metres in depth; and
course and not cause much damage.
For straightforward dam layout and topography, (2) how many lives would be lost (this can be done
it will be a matter of examining where the at the same time as estimating the assessed
water might flow using an on-site assessment. damage level).
If required, a suitably qualified professional Example: In the example above the three houses
engineer will be able to create an inundation/ indicate a PAR in the range of 1-10. With a major
flood map.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 15
damage level from Table 1, the dam could be either Once the regional authority has received the
medium or high PIC from Table 2. The location Dam Classification Certificate, the classification
of the houses indicates that two or more lives are of the dam is placed on the regional dam register.
likely to be lost. On the basis of Note 4 in Table 2 For more information on this, refer to sections
the dam is classified as high PIC. This assessment 134 to 139 of the Act.
is submitted to a Category A Recognised Engineer
An owner of a large dam who fails to comply
for review and certification, before being submitted
with section 134 of the Act is liable for a fine not
to the regional authority.
exceeding $20,000 or an infringement fee1 of $500.
The PAR and the potential damage must be
4.6 When to review the classification
determined on the basis of a breach or failure
of the dam. For this purpose, a breach or failure An owner of a large dam must review the dams
of a dam occurs when it is at full service level classification and resubmit it with a Recognised
and all retained fluid is released over a short period Engineers certificate in accordance with section
of time. The PAR is determined as those likely to 139 of the Act, as follows:
be affected by a flood greater than half a metre w
 ithin five years after the regional authority
deep. When considering PAR, the following approves the classification and at intervals
issues should be taken into account: of not more than five years
groups of dwellings a fter the first review, at intervals of not more
than five years
camping areas and occupancy times
if at any time building work that requires
a llowance for temporary populations (eg,
building consent is carried out on the dam,
fishermen, bushwalkers, birdwatchers, picnickers)
which results in or could result in a change
river crossings and bridges
to the potential failure impact on people,
t he number of people using nearby schools, property, or the environment.
hospitals and other institutions (eg, prisons)
as well as commercial and retail areas. 4.7 Dam Safety Assurance Programme
Sections 140 to 148 of the Act outline the
4.5 Submission of the classification certificate requirements for a Dam Safety Assurance
and registration of dams Programme. The owner of a medium or high
The owner of an existing large dam will first need to PIC dam is required to prepare a Dam Safety
submit the classification certificate to their regional Assurance Programme.
authority within three months of the Regulations
coming into effect (that is, by September 2010). The purpose of a Dam Safety Assurance Programme
Owners of new dams will need to submit the is to assist the owner of a large dam to ensure good
classification certificate to the regional authority safety management of the dam through the life of
within three months of the dam being commissioned. the structure and to manage the resolution of any
potential deficiencies that may arise. A Dam Safety
A Dam Classification Certificate is in Appendix A. Assurance Programme is basically a document that
You can also get one from the Departments website: sets out the dam owners procedures for checking
http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-dam-safety the safety of their dam, including an emergency

1 Under Section 372 of the Building Act 2004, an infringement notice may be served on a person if an enforcement officer (a) observes the person committing an
infringement offence, or (b) has reasonable cause to believe that an infringement offence is being or has been committed by that person. The Building (Infringement
Offences, Fees, and Forms) Regulations 2007 are available from http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-bca or free phone 0800 242 243.

16 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
action plan, and a plan for repairing any non-urgent Guidelines (2000) can be viewed on NZSOLDs
deficiencies with their dam. website: http://www.ipenz.org.nz/nzsold/.

The owner of a medium or high PIC large dam must: The Dam Safety Assurance Programme should
p
 repare, or arrange for the preparation of, a Dam be structured so that the assurance of safe
Safety Assurance Programme for the dam (using performance of the dam is achieved, while allowing
the form in the Regulations) enough flexibility for unforeseen disruptions.
h
 ave the Dam Safety Assurance Programme The Dam Safety Scheme is one of strict
audited by a Category A Recognised Engineer compliance. It does not allow for partial compliance
s ubmit to the appropriate regional authority the with the Dam Safety Assurance Programme.
audited Dam Safety Assurance Programme Accordingly, when designing a Dam Safety
within one year (if a high PIC) or two years (if a Assurance Programme, the dam owner and
medium PIC dam) of the dams classification Recognised Engineer should ensure that the
h
 ave the Dam Safety Assurance Programme programme is flexible enough to reflect the risk
audited and reviewed within five years (if a high that routine surveillance, monitoring and inspection
PIC dam) or ten years (if a medium PIC dam) of can potentially be disrupted. This can delay planned
the regional authority originally approving the Dam Safety Assurance Programme activities and
Dam Safety Assurance Programme, and every the timeframe to ensure full compliance with the
five years thereafter. annual Dam Compliance Certificate. Disruptive
factors to take into account may include:
A Dam Safety Assurance Programme must be
appropriate for the type, size and classification high or low inflows
of a dam. extreme weather conditions
A Dam Safety Assurance Programme must contain staff leave
the following: resource availability
(a) requirements for and frequency of, routine acts of God
visual inspections, instrument monitoring, data h
 ow it will affect ensuring full compliance with
evaluation, and reporting to the large dam owner the annual Dam Compliance Certificate.
(b) requirements for annual dam safety reviews
The Dam Safety Assurance Programme form is
(c) requirements for comprehensive dam
in Appendix B or on the Departments website:
safety reviews
www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-dam-safety
(d) details of an emergency action plan
(e) requirements for inspection of appurtenant Once the Dam Safety Assurance Programme
structures, including testing of gates and valves form has been prepared and audited by a Category
that contribute to reservoir safety, and A Recognised Engineer, it must be sent to the
regional authority. The regional authority must
(f) procedures for the investigation, assessment
approve the form, unless it considers on reasonable
and resolution of dam safety deficiencies.2
grounds that the engineer who audited and signed
The Dam Safety Assurance Programme must off on the Dam Safety Assurance Programme
be consistent with the New Zealand Society On is not a Category A Recognised Engineer.
Large Dams (NZSOLD) New Zealand Dam Safety
Guidelines (2000). The NZSOLD Dam Safety

2 A deficiency is where a dam failure scenario is possible under certain circumstances, such that the assumed safety condition or criteria of one aspect of the dam
may not be met (a potential deficiency), or, is not met (a confirmed deficiency). See the glossary for a definition of some of these terms.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 17
The timeframe for submitting a Dam Safety The owner of a medium PIC dam must review
Assurance Programme and form is one year after the their Dam Safety Assurance Programme:
regional authority approved the classification for a
high PIC dam and two years for a medium PIC dam. w
 ithin 10 years of it being approved by the
regional authority
A medium or high PIC large dam owner who fails a fter the first review, at intervals of no more
to submit a Dam Safety Assurance Programme
than five years.
by the statutory date required is liable for a fine not
exceeding $20,000 or an infringement fee of $500. Owners of large dams must, at all times, review
their Dam Safety Assurance Programme whenever
If a regional authority refuses to approve the Dam
building work is done on the dam that requires a
Safety Assurance Programme, it must direct the
building consent and that could result in a change to
dam owner to have the Dam Safety Assurance
the PIC. Owners of large dams that are earthquake-
Programme audited by a Recognised Engineer.
prone or flood-prone must also review their Dam
The dam owner will then have 15 working days, Safety Assurance Programme upon the request of
unless a later date is agreed on by the regional the relevant regional authority.
authority, to have their Dam Safety Assurance
Programme re-audited and submitted with the 4.9 Annual Dam Compliance Certificate
Dam Safety Assurance Programme form. Failure Section 150 of the Act states that every owner of a
to do so may result in a fine of up to $10,000 dam for which a Dam Safety Assurance Programme
or an infringement fee of $250. has been approved must provide the regional
Once the Dam Safety Assurance Programme has authority with an annual Dam Compliance Certificate
been approved by the regional authority, the dam on each anniversary of their Dam Safety Assurance
owner must keep the Dam Safety Assurance Programme having been approved. The certificate
Programme document either: must include confirmation from a Category A
on the dam, or Recognised Engineer that all procedures in the Dam
Safety Assurance Programme have been complied
in another building in the region of the regional
authority, or with during the previous twelve months.

in some other place agreed on by the owner By submitting the annual Dam Compliance
of the large dam and the regional authority. Certificate to the regional authority, the owner
The Dam Safety Assurance Programme document provides ongoing evidence of doing surveillance
must be available for inspection by the regional and maintenance in line with the approved Dam
authority and any person or organisation that Safety Assurance Programme.
has a right to inspect the dam under any Act.
An owner may face an infringement fee of $250
4.8 Review of a Dam Safety if they fail to display an annual Dam Compliance
Assurance Programme Certificate, under section 150 of the Act. An owner
of a large dam may also face an infringement fee
Section 146 of the Act states that the owner of
a high PIC dam must review their Dam Safety of $1000 if they knowingly:
Assurance Programme: d
 isplay a false or misleading annual Dam
w
 ithin five years of it being approved by the Compliance Certificate
regional authority f ail to display an annual Dam Compliance
a fter the first review, at intervals of no more Certificate that is required to be displayed
than five years. under section 150 of the Act

18 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
d
 isplays an annual Dam Compliance Certificate (c) dam construction techniques
otherwise than in accordance with section (d) operation and maintenance of dams
150 of the Act.
(e) surveillance processes
The offences listed above also carry a fine
(f) response to dam safety issues
of up to $5,000.
(g) emergency planning
4.10 Category A and B Recognised Engineers (h) emergency response
Compliance with the Dam Safety Scheme requires (i) resolution of potential dam safety deficiencies
the exercise of professional knowledge and
(j) dam safety critical plant systems.
judgement. Under the Scheme, the classification
of dams and Dam Safety Assurance Programmes A Category A Recognised Engineer is assessed
must be certified by a Recognised Engineer, a by the Competency Assessment Board as
term specific to the Act. These requirements aim demonstrating that he or she is able to practise
to ensure that a large dam is correctly classified competently in the area of dam safety engineering
and that a Dam Safety Assurance Programme is to the standard of a reasonable professional
appropriate to the dam and meets the prescribed engineer practising in the area.
criteria and standards for dam safety.
Category B Recognised Engineers have general
A Recognised Engineer is someone who has civil engineering ability and experience and may
no financial interest in the dam, is registered only certify the classification of low PIC dams.
under the Chartered Professional Engineers Unlike Category A Recognised Engineers, Category
of New Zealand Act 2002, and meets the B Recognised Engineers are not required to be
competencies listed in the Regulations. formally assessed.
There are two categories of Recognised Engineers, A Recognised Engineer must comply with the
Categories A and B. Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand
Code of Ethical Behaviour. A Recognised Engineer
Category A Recognised Engineers have specific dam
must also comply with Chartered Professional
engineering and safety assurance competencies.
Engineers of New Zealand Rules (No. 2) 2002. These
Category A Recognised Engineers may:
state that a chartered professional engineer must
certify dam classifications
not misrepresent his or her competence and only do
certify Dam Safety Assurance Programmes engineering activities within his or her competence.
certify annual Dam Compliance Certificates
IPENZ will manage an online list of Recognised
for dams.
Engineers. The list will have contact details for
The Institution of Professional Engineers New Recognised Engineers who have agreed to make
Zealand (IPENZ) oversees the assessment process. their details available. The list of Recognised
IPENZ uses a a pool of assessors to assess Engineers will be updated as the Scheme
engineers on the requirements of a Category A progresses. This list can be found at:
Recognised Engineer. Engineers may be assessed
against some or all of the following competencies: www.ipenz.org.nz/IPENZ/finding/recognised-
(a) geotechnical principles engineer/

(b) design principles including structural For more information on who is a Recognised
geotechnical seismic hydrologic and Engineer, refer to section 149 of the Act.
hydraulic principles

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 19
4.11 Timeline for implementation of the Dam Safety Scheme

Regulations stating how the Dam Safety Scheme will work


July 2008 come into force, with a 24-month lead-in time for you to
familiarise yourself with the Schemes requirements.

Regulations take effect, and


as an owner of a large dam
you are now required to
1 July 2010
comply with the Scheme.

As an owner of a large dam by now you must have:


1. had your dam classified (high, medium or low) in terms
1 October 2010 of its potential impact.
2. had the classification certified by a recognised engineer.
3. submitted the classification to your local regional authority.

If you are the owner of a high


potential impact category
dam, by now you must have
provided your local regional
authority with a: 1 year after
Dam Safety Assurance classification
Programme, which has of your dam
been audited by a
recognised engineer.

If you are the owner of a medium potential impact


2 years after category dam, you must provide your local regional
authority with a:
classification
Dam Safety Assurance Programme, which
of your dam has been audited by a recognised engineer.

If you are the owner of a


Every five years
medium or high potential impact
you must:
dam, you must:
review your large dams
1. get an Annual Dam Compliance
classification
Certificate for your dam signed by
(high, medium or low)
Ongoing a recognised engineer.
review your Dam Safety Ongoing (annually)
Assurance Programme, if you are
(every 5 years) 2. submit the Annual Dam Compliance
Certificate to your local regional
the owner of a medium or high
authority by the anniversary date of
potential impact dam. (NB. the
the regional authoritys acceptance
first review for medium PIC
of your Dam Safety Assurance
dams is after 10 years)
Programme.

4.12 Register of large dams


Section 151 of the Act requires each regional authority to establish and maintain a register of all large dams
in its region.

20 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
5.0 Dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams, flood-
prone dams and dams posing immediate danger

5.1 Overview of dangerous dams, 5.2 Functions of a regional authority


earthquake-prone dams and flood-prone dams regarding dangerous dams
The Act requires regional authorities to develop Sections 154 to 156 of the Act outline the
a dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams, functions of a regional authority in relation
and flood-prone dams policy within their region. to dangerous dams.
The purpose of this policy is to help prevent the
catastrophic failure of a potentially dangerous dam, These functions and powers include:
and to ensure deficiencies in an earthquake-prone p
 utting up a hoarding or fence to prevent
or flood-prone dam are addressed. people from getting too close to the dam
a ttaching a notice on or near the dam that
Each policy must state the regional authoritys
warns people not to approach the dam
approach for fulfilling and prioritising its functions
around these types of dams. The policy must r equiring work to be carried out on the
also state how it will be applied to heritage dams. dam by the owner within a specified period
(which must not be less than 10 days),
Section 153 of the Act states that a large dam to reduce or remove the danger.
is dangerous for the purposes of the Act if it:
(a) is a high PIC dam or a medium PIC dam; and If an owner of a large dam fails to carry out the
required work they are liable to a fine of up to
(b) is likely to fail
$200,000 or an infringement fee of $2000. In
(i) in the ordinary course of events; or
addition, the regional authority may apply to a
(ii) in a moderate earthquake (as defined District Court for an order authorising the regional
in the regulations); or authority to carry out the required building work.
(iii) in a moderate flood (as defined The regional authority may then recover the costs
in the regulations). of the work from the owner.

Section 153A of the Act states that a large If a dam, small or large, is likely to pose immediate
dam is an earthquake-prone dam if the dam: danger to the safety of people, property or the
(a) is a high PIC dam or medium PIC dam; and environment, the chief executive of a regional
(b) is likely to fail in an earthquake threshold
event (as defined in the regulations).

Section 153A of the Act states that a large


dam is a flood-prone dam if the dam:
(a) is a high PIC dam or medium PIC dam; and
(b) is likely to fail in a flood threshold event
(as defined in the regulations).

Each regional authority is required to have a


dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams and
flood-prone dams policy. However, the Department
recognises that regional authorities will be unable
to finalise their policies until regulations are passed
that define what is meant by moderate earthquake,
moderate flood, earthquake threshold event and
flood threshold event.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 21
authority can issue a warrant under his/her own 5.4 Dams posing an immediate danger
hand to take action to mitigate the immediate Section 157 of the Act outlines what a regional
danger posed by the dam and the dam owner authority can do to remove the danger if it considers
will be liable for the costs of the action. a small or large dam poses an immediate danger to
the safety of people, property, or the environment.
5.3 Functions of a regional authority around
earthquake-prone dams and flood-prone dams The chief executive of a regional authority may
Under section 146 (2)(b) of the Act the regional take any action necessary to remove the immediate
authority may request a large dam owner to review danger and later apply to the District Court for
their Dam Safety Assurance Programme if the dam a confirmation of warrant for undertaking the
is an earthquake-prone dam or a flood-prone dam. appropriate actions. The regional authority may
recover the costs for these actions from the
dam owner.

22 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
6.0 Appendices

APPENDIX A
FORM 1: DAM CLASSIFICATION CERTIFICATE
Sections 135 & 139, Building Act 2004

Dam

Dam name

Date of construction

Resource consent number or identification (if applicable)

Location of dam

Purpose of dam

Type of dam

Height of dam (in metres)

Reservoir maximum capacity (in cubic metres)

Description of spillway or flood control facility

Flood capacity (in cubic metres per second)

Changes in design or operation since construction

Potential impact classification

Relevant regional authority

Owner

Name of owner

Name of operator (if different from owner)

Contact person

Postal address

Residential address

Certificate of recognised engineer

I certify that the classification of the above dam as a [specify low/medium/high] potential impact dam accords with the methodology for
classifying a dam set out in regulation 4 of the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008.

I am a [specify whether category A/category B] recognised engineer in accordance with section 149 of the Building Act 2004.

I have attached evidence that I am a [specify whether category A/category B] engineer.

Date

Signature of recognised engineer

Full name of recognised engineer

CPEng registration number

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 23
APPENDIX B

Form 2: dam safety assurance programme

Sections 141 & 142, Building Act 2004

The Dam Safety Assurance Programme consists of this form, the attached documents, and any other
referenced documents.

Dam

Dam name

Date of construction

Resource consent number or identification (if applicable)

Location of dam

Purpose of dam

Type of dam

Height of dam (in metres)

Reservoir maximum capacity (in cubic metres)

Description of spillway or flood control facility

Flood capacity (in cubic metres per second)

Changes in design or operation since construction

Potential impact classification

Relevant regional authority

Owner

Name of owner

Name of operator (if different from owner)

Contact person

Postal address

Residential address

Summary of compliance with criteria and standards


Please attach a brief summary of how each of the criteria and standards 3. Describe and/or reference the requirements and frequency
set out in regulation 8 of the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008 have for comprehensive dam safety reviews of the dam.
been addressed and indicate where these are addressed in the Dam Safety 4. Summarise and/or reference your emergency action plan including
Assurance Programme: (i) responsibilities:
1. Describe briefly and/or reference how each of the following have been (ii) emergency identification procedures:
adequately addressed for the dam: (iii) notification procedures and contact lists:
(i) surveillance requirements, including accurate records detailing the (iv) dam breach inundation maps.
safety performance of the dam and that appropriate actions are taken 5. Describe and/or reference the requirements to inspect appurtenant
when potential deficiencies or adverse data trends are identified: structures, including testing of gates and valves that contribute to
(ii) the frequency for routine visual inspections: reservoir safety.
(iii) instrument monitoring and data evaluation: 6. Describe and/or reference the procedures for the investigation,
(iv) reporting to the dam owner. assessment, and resolution of dam safety deficiencies.
2. Describe and/or reference the requirements for annual dam safety
reviews of the dam.

24 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
FORM 2. CONTINUED

Documentation of Dam Safety Assurance Programme

List the location of all documentation, manuals, publications referred to in the Dam Safety Assurance Programme (if applicable):

State the location(s) of the Dam Safety Assurance Programme

State the appropriate contact person with respect to the Dam Safety Assurance Programme and supporting referenced material

Name

Contact details

The documents that form the Dam Safety Assurance Programme are attached as follows:

Certificate of recognised engineer

I certify that the Dam Safety Assurance Programme prepared for the above dam meets the methodology for classifying a dam set out in
regulation 4 of the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008.

I am a category A recognised engineer in accordance with section 149 of the Building Act 2004.

I have attached evidence that I am a category A recognised engineer.

Date

Signature of recognised engineer

Full name of recognised engineer

CPEng registration number

Note: all forms in this Appendix are available from http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-dam-safety or free phone 0800 242 243 for a hard copy.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 25
APPENDIX C

Form 3: Annual Dam Compliance Certificate

Section 150, Building Act 2004

Dam

Dam name

Date of construction

Resource consent number or identification (if applicable)

Location of dam

Purpose of dam

Type of dam

Height of dam (in metres)

Reservoir maximum capacity (in cubic metres)

Description of spillway or flood control facility

Flood capacity (in cubic metres per second)

Changes in design or operation since construction

Potential impact classification

Date of approval of the Dam Safety Assurance Programme

Date that approval of the Dam Safety Assurance


Programme expires

Relevant regional authority

Owner

Name of owner

Name of operator (if different from owner)

Contact person

Postal address

Residential address

26 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
FORM 3. CONTINUED

Compliance

All proceedures in the Dam Safety Assurance Programme have been complied with during the previous 12 months.

Date

Signature of dam owner

Full name of dam owner

Certificate of recognised engineer

I have reviewed the owners reports and other documents relating to the procedures in the safety assurance programme that the owner
has followed in the previous 12 months. All procedures in the Dam Safety Assurance Programme have been complied with during the
previous 12 months.

I am a category A recognised engineer in accordance with section 149 of the Building Act 2004.

I have attached evidence that I am a category A recognised engineer.

Date

Signature of recognised engineer

Full name of recognised engineer

CPEng registration number

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 27
Appendix D: Glossary of terms Critical and major infrastructure includes power
The Act refers to the Building Act 2004. supply, water supply, gas supply, transportation
systems, wastewater treatment, network
Artificial barrier is a human-made or modified telecommunications systems, emergency facilities,
structure causing the retention of liquid. and large industrial, commercial, or community
facilities, the loss of which would have a significant
Appurtenant structure(s) means a structure that is
integral to the proper functioning of the dam. This impact on a community. It also includes the dam,
might include, but is not limited to, such facilities if the service the dam provides is critical to the
as intake towers, powerhouse structures, tunnels, community and that service cannot be provided
canals, penstocks, low-level outlets, surge tanks by alternative means.
and towers, gate hoist mechanisms and their Dam Compliance Certificate is a dam compliance
supporting structures, and all critical water control certificate as referred to in section 150 of the Act,
and release facilities. Appurtenant structure(s) and discussed in section 4.9 above.
also include mechanical and electrical control and
standby power supplying equipment located in A Dam Safety Assurance Programme is the
powerhouses or in remote control centres. requirement for medium or high potential impact
dams to have a programme in place to maintain
Competency Assessment Board means the their integrity, ongoing monitoring, maintenance
Competency Assessment Board appointed under
and repair. The Dam Safety Assurance Programme
Part 5 of the Chartered Professional Engineers of
must be submitted to the local regional authority.
New Zealand Rules (No 2) 2002.
Department refers to the Department of Building
Confirmed dam safety deficiency exists when
and Housing.
situations or conditions are identified which indicate
that dam failure scenarios are possible such that Depth refers to the height of the reservoir at the
dam safety acceptance criteria are not met. base of the upstream dam wall or artificial barrier.

28 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
Emergency (in terms of dam operation) is any PIM (Project Information Memorandum), when
condition that develops naturally or unexpectedly, referring to dams, is a document issued by both
endangers the integrity of the dam and downstream the regional and territorial authorities that includes
property or life, and requires immediate action. information relevant to proposed building work.

Emergency action plan is a document which Potential dam safety deficiency exists when
contains procedures for dealing with various situations or conditions are identified which indicate
emergencies, as well as communication directories that dam failure scenarios are possible such that
and inundation (flood) maps showing upstream dam safety acceptance criteria may not be met.
and downstream water levels and times of arrival
Retain means to keep or hold in a particular place,
of floods that would result from the failure of the
condition or position.
dam or its appurtenances.
Recognised Engineer means an engineer described
Holding capacity refers to volume or peak flow
in section 149 of the Act and section 4.10 above.
of the flood that would cause the reservoir level
to reach the crest of the dam with full use of the Regional authority means
spillway(s) of the dam.
(a) regional council; or
Liquid includes sediment and tailings that would (b) a unitary authority
be mobilised in the event of a dam failure.
Regional council has the meaning given to it by
PAR (population at risk) population at risk means section 5 (1) of the Local Government Act 2002.
the number of people likely to be affected by
Sediment is any particulate matter that can be
inundation greater than 0.5 metres.
transported by fluid flow.
PIC (potential impact category) as defined in
Specified categories are residential infrastructure,
Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008. Further
critical and major infrastructure (both damage
information can be found in section 4.4 of this guide.
caused and time to restore to normal operation),
natural environment, and community recovery time.

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 29
Appendix E: Useful contacts
*These contacts include the names of all the regional authorities in New Zealand.

Organisation Auckland Regional Council Organisation Gisborne District Council


Phone 0800 80 60 40 Phone 0800 653 800
Facsimile 09 366 2155 Facsimile 06 867 8076
Postal Private Bag 92-012 Postal Gisborne District Council
Auckland 1142 PO Box 747
Web www.arc.govt.nz Gisborne
Web www.gdc.govt.nz
Organisation Department of Building
and Housing Organisation Greater Wellington Regional
Phone 0800 242 243 Council
Facsimile 04 494 0290 Phone 0800 496 734
Postal PO Box 10-729 Facsimile 04 385 6960
Wellington Postal PO Box 11646
Email info@dbh.govt.nz Wellington 6142
Web www.dbh.govt.nz Web www.gw.govt.nz

Organisation Environment Canterbury Organisation Hawkes Bay Regional Council


Phone 0800 324 636 Phone 0800 108 838
Facsimile 03 365 3194 Postal Private Bag 6006
Postal PO Box 345 Napier 4142
Christchurch Email info@hbrc.govt.nz
Email ecinfo@ecan.govt.nz Web www.hbrc.govt.nz
Web www.ecan.govt.nz
Organisation Horizons Regional Council
Organisation Environment Southland Phone 0508 800 800
Phone 03 211 5115 or Facsimile 06 952 2929
0800 76 88 45 (Southland only) Postal Private Bag 11025
Facsimile 03 211 5252 Palmerston North 4442
Postal Private Bag 90116 Web www.horizons.govt.nz
Invercargill
Organisation IPENZ Institution of Professional
Web www.es.govt.nz
Engineers New Zealand
Organisation Environment Waikato Phone 04 473 9444
Phone 0800 800 401 Facsimile 04 474 8933
Facsimile 07 859 0998
Postal PO Box 12241
Postal PO Box 4010
Wellington
Hamilton East 3247
Email ipenz@ipenz.org.nz
Web www.ew.govt.nz
Web www.ipenz.org.nz

30 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
Organisation Marlborough District Council Organisation Otago Regional Council
Phone 03 520 7400 Phone 0800 474 082
Facsimile 03 520 7496 Facsimile 03 479 0015
Postal PO Box 443 Postal Private Bag 1954
Blenheim 7240 Dunedin
Email mdc@marlborough.govt.nz Web www.orc.govt.nz
Web www.marlborough.govt.nz
Organisation Taranaki Regional Council
Organisation Nelson City Council Phone 06 765 7127
Phone 03 546 0200 Facsimile 06 765 5097
Facsimile 03 546 0239 Postal Private Bag 713
Postal PO Box 645 Stratford 4352
Nelson Email info@trc.govt.nz
Email enquiry@ncc.govt.nz Web www.trc.govt.nz
Web www.nelsoncitycouncil.co.nz
Organisation Tasman District Council
Organisation New Zealand Gazette C/- 3
Phone 03 543 8400
Department of Internal Affairs Facsimile 03 543 9524
Phone (04) 470 2930 Email info@tdc.govt.nz
Facsimile (04) 470 2932 Postal Private Bag 4
Postal PO Box 805 Richmond 7050
Wellington Web www.tdc.govt.nz
Email gazette@parliament.govt.nz
Organisation West Coast Regional Council
Web www.dia.govt.nz
Phone 03 768 0466
Organisation New Zealand Society On Large Facsimile 03 768 7133
Dams (NZSOLD) Email info@wcrc.govt.nz
Phone 04 473 9444 Postal PO Box 66
Facsimile 04 474 8933 Greymouth
Postal PO Box 12-241 Web www.wcrc.govt.nz
Email nzsold@ipenz.org.nz
Web www.ipenz.org.nz/nzsold

Organisation Northland Regional Council


Phone 0800 002 004
Facsimile (09) 438 0012
Postal Private Bag 9021
Whangarei 0140
Email mailroom@nrc.govt.nz
Web www.nrc.govt.nz

3 T
 he New Zealand Gazette is the official newspaper of the government of New Zealand and includes notifications about the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008
and documents incorporated in the Regulations (such as the NZSOLD Dam Safety Guidelines).

DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS 31
Documents
The following documents are available from
www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-dam-safety or the
dam owner may contact the Department to
order (or find out where to order) a free copy
of these on free phone 0800 242 243.
B
 uilding Act 2004 and the Building
(Dam Safety) Regulations 2008
Guide to the Dam Safety Scheme
 uilding Infringement (Offences, Fees,
B
and Forms) Regulations 2007
The Dam Safety Scheme forms
A Guide to Building Act Determinations.

For further information on BCA accreditation


please see www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-bca.

The Departments publication Codewords No.8,


Oct/Nov 2005 discusses the regional authorities
new role: www.dbh.govt.nz/codewords-8-article-5

NZSOLD Dam Safety Guidelines (2000)


www.ipenz.org.nz/nzsold/publications.htm

The Department wishes to thank the following


organisations and companies for their assistance
with the development of this booklet:
NSW Department of Energy and Water
Meridian Energy Ltd
Contact Energy Ltd
The Regional Authority Working Group

32 DAM SAFETY SCHEME GUIDANCE FOR REGIONAL AUTHORITIES AND OWNERS OF LARGE DAMS
Published in September 2008
by the Department of Building and Housing

This document is also available on the


Departments website: www.dbh.govt.nz

ISBN: 978-0-478-32733-5 (Print)


ISBN: 978-0-478-32734-2 (Web)

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